On the cover, Edward Ericson Jr. comes on down with West Baltimore "outsider artist" Van Freeman. After reading, your first visit, of course, should be VanFreeman.com, where you can spend a few minutes looking around, though it hasn't been updated for what looks like more than two years. Most of the Los Angeles press stories mentioned in "20/20 Vision" are offline now, but VanFreeman.com's press-links page, thankfully, has archived them. Ron Stringer's LA Weekly piece--"O Brother, Where Art Thou?"--is the only necessary reading, but some of the others are good, too.
In Mobtown Beat, John Barry, usually on the theater-review beat, goes all in, checking out the city Liquor Board's recent crackdown on Texas hold 'em games. Much of the Liquor Board's justification for its crackdown depends on Maryland's gambling laws, so check 'em out. And Ron Cassie writes, hopefully, the final chapter on the Book Thing of Baltimore's search for a new home. Since the Book Thing ended up in Waverly, why not check out this classic from the City Paper vault.
In Arts & Entertainment, CP's film critics don't [heart] the Oscars with the annual Alties. If you must, Oscar info can be had here. J. Bowers gives the Contemporary Swiss Contemporary Ceramics exhibit a spin. A little searching will turn up online galleries for a number of the exhibited artists. Here's one to get you started: Aline Favre. Finally, Van Smith pulps William Keisling and his recent book The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna. For more on Keisling, check out his publishing house, Yardbird Books--an interesting catalog there, if nothing else. For more on Luna, the Baltimore-based federal prosecutor found dead in a Lancaster County, Pa., stream on the eve of a big case, check out the Sun's minisite on the case.